ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Local entrepreneurs named finalists for Initiators Fellowship

Out of 16 entrepreneurs selected as finalists for the Initiators Fellowship, four are from the northwest Minnesota region. The fellowship program offers support to entrepreneurs around the state.

Northwest Minnesota Foundation web art
We are part of The Trust Project.

BEMIDJI -- Of 16 social entrepreneurs chosen as finalists for the Initiators Fellowship, four are from the northwest Minnesota area.

Launched in 2016, the Initiators Fellowship is a two-year program where entrepreneurs receive executive-level monitoring, leadership training and ongoing education to advance their mission-driven business or nonprofit endeavor. Additionally, each entrepreneur receives a $30,000 stipend.

In total, 85 entrepreneurs applied for the 2022-2023 Fellowship program. Of the 16 finalists, eight will move on to be chosen for the program, two of which will be from the northwest Minnesota foundation.

The two from the northwest region are guaranteed as each of the four Minnesota Initiative Foundations will have a pair of fellows. The four foundations include the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Southwest Initiative Foundation, the West Central Initiative and the Initiative Foundation of central Minnesota.

"We were blown away by the many folks during important social enterprise work throughout Greater Minnesota," said Brian Voerding, Initiative Foundation vice president of inclusive entrepreneurship. "We had a tough job narrowing the pool, and we look forward to the finalist day when we can meet the finalists and learn even more about their work."

ADVERTISEMENT

The four from northwest Minnesota include:

  • Erika Adams of Beltrami County. Adams plans to start a company called Sustainable Solutions to help businesses and government entities discovery economically sound and sustainable ways of doing business.
  • Daniel Barrientez Jr. of Beltrami County. Barrientez earned a degree in culinary arts after his release from incarceration in 2010. He plans to start a food truck company and create jobs for former felons.
  • Karie Kirschbaum of Norman County. The former Mayor of Gary, Minn., Kirschbaum intends to build a network connecting government agencies and community organizations to integrate young people and new Americans into Greater Minnesota communities.
  • Brenna Rollie of Polk County. Rollie's business is Aham Love Yoga and she has a goal to use the company to increase health and wellness for rural Minnesota communities. Hoping to build a culture of community-building and healing, Rollie looks to provide classes, hold community events and create youth camps.
What to read next
Attendees will also have a chance to learn about the services that Peacemaker Resources provides, which include social-emotional learning training for children, school staff, caregivers and other stakeholders throughout the community.
A Solway man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy that dates back to 2019.
The Bemidji City Council is set to hold a public hearing on Truth in Taxation during its regular meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, providing citizens an opportunity to discuss and comment on the city’s taxation process.
Two local organizations, Greater Bemidji and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, have received funds from the state to go towards addressing the shortage of affordable child care in the area.